The beloved masters of harmony Boyz II Men once sang that “it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.” This may be true, but saying goodbye to an employee can be even harder. Letting someone go is never easy, and as an employer, it’s probably the last thing you want to do. Before you make that final decision, consider some steps that might help improve an employee’s performance and keep you from having to say goodbye.

Point out the problem – Make an effort to let your employee know what he/she is doing wrong. Make a point to meet with the employee to communicate, as professionally as possible, what the problem is and what he/she can do to fix it. Sometimes, simply bringing up the issue is a good place to start.

A chance to change – If your employee is on thin ice, give the employee an opportunity to change unwanted behavior. Provide some additional training and give the employee another chance to learn the rules and expectations of the job. A refresher course could get him/her back into shape.

Have a conversation – Take the time to talk to your employee and try to figure out if any outside factors could be affecting performance. Maybe there is trouble in the workplace that you’re unaware of or a personal matter is causing distractions.  Reach out to your employee to get a closer look at what might be going on.

If you go through these steps with your employee and still see no improvements, it might be time to move on. Reduce the risk of having to say goodbye to any future employees by kicking off your hiring process with right-fit applicants from the start. Until then, put on some classic ’90s jams and try to remember the good times you had…